It’s very possible that the decision to ban bitcoin ATMs becomes official in Canada in the near future. Kennedy Steward, the mayor of Vancouver, seems to be completely in favor.
Canadian authorities have often labeled bitcoin ATMs as the “perfect money laundering machines”. Money laundering cases have increased so much that the decision to ban bitcoin ATMs might be set in stone already.
Criminals use the machines to purchase bitcoins and dump their cash as much as possible. This way they profit and completely eliminate the transaction fees. Canadian authorities stated that there are more than 840 reports related to money laundering via cryptocurrencies this year already. This is over a 300% increase since last year.
The councils of Vancouver and Richmond city have already called to ban bitcoin ATMs. The mayor of Vancouver seems to have the biggest issue on his hands, 76 out of the 694 Canadian bitcoin ATMs are in Vancouver.
Not all countries are looking to ban bitcoin ATMs however. Bitcoin ATMs have recently begun popping up in Dubai and there hasn’t been a single recorded incident with money laundering.
Throughout Europe, the situation seems to be on edge. Last month, Europol busted a group of 8 people who were laundering money via fiat to crypto exchange. Bitcoin ATMs were used and the funds were split into sums that do not arouse suspicion.
A Dutch scam artist, who was already sued for money laundering managed to swindle millions via a crypto mining investment scam.
In the United States however, things seem to be heading in a positive direction. The year started off with the bitcoin ATM company Coinme, teaming up with Coinstar. Clients were given an easy and reliable way to buy bitcoin.
The decision to ban bitcoin ATMs would probably have to be reevaluated in the near future. Mass adoption seems inevitable at this point and crypto ATMs will inevitably be everywhere.
Money laundering will keep happening despite the ban, it’s up to the governments to stop it, not blame crypto ATMs for a problem that has only grown in the last 50 years.
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